If you are an avid sports fan, you have probably watched both women’s golf and tennis. At first glance, the clothing looks pretty similar, especially the skirts.
They look very alike, but are they the same?
Tennis and golf skirts are not the same. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) makes no mention of skirts in their rules. The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) does not allow skirts to be shorter than 14 inches. There are other differences too.
In this article I will be discussing:
- The key differences between tennis and golf skirts
- Whether you can wear a tennis skirt when playing golf
- If you can wear a golf skirt when playing tennis
If you are keen to learn more about the differences between skirts in tennis and golf, read on!
Tennis Skirt vs Golf Skirt: Main Differences
Golf and tennis are totally different sports with few transferable skills. Therefore, sports clothing is designed to be suitable and specific to the player and the sport.
Golf skirts are made for golf and tennis for tennis.
To better answer the question, it is essential to look at the components of each sport.
Tennis is a high-intensity, interval sport requiring a lot of directional change. With this comes the need for flexibility. Therefore, tennis skirts and skorts are made to allow for easy movement and change of direction.
In golf, it is less intense, requiring virtually no agility. Golfing skirts will thus not be designed with ease of movement as a top priority.
Wearing golf skirts to play tennis is likely to make moving and changing direction tougher.
It is also important to remember that tennis skirts are usually not skirts at all but skorts. Skorts have the same appearance as skirts but come with extra fabric covering the front and back.
Skorts were designed to give more freedom of movement when doing physical activity. As a result, they are a more fashionable alternative to classic shorts.
While skorts are standard on the golf course, it is not unheard of to see some women wearing traditional sporting skirts.
This is not an issue as golf is not a particularly physical sport, and the risk of falling and being exposed is low.
These would not be appropriate on a tennis court. The aggressive movement and quick changes of direction could lead to the player slipping and being exposed. This is especially true when you consider how much shorter tennis skirts/skorts are.
Golf skirts are also tighter. Once again, as golf doesn’t require much agility, manufacturers do not need to worry as much about elasticity.
For tennis, it is very important and thus skorts are made to be flexible and allow for ease of movement.
Can You Wear A Tennis Skirt For Golf?
None of the qualities of tennis skirts will cause problems on the golf course. Having a more flexible skirt is not going to make it harder for you to play. You can therefore use a tennis skirt/skort to play golf.
The thing that is important to check is the regulations. For example, golf skirts are not allowed to be shorter than 14 inches.
Many tennis skirts measure less than that. If the skirt is under that limit, then it will not be allowed.
You may get away with it if not in formal competition and just playing casually. Having said that, many golf courses operate strict dress codes. If the dress code is that strict, you may still be caught out by the 14-inch rule.
If you are not playing golf seriously, it shouldn’t matter as long as the clothes you wear are comfortable.
The PGA website has a section for what women should wear on the golf course. It even mentions tennis skirts specifically.
It says that if someone is wearing a tennis skirt, they should wear tights or spandex underneath.
The PGA website reiterates the rule on the length of skirts. It also mentions some clubs that have even stricter dress codes.
It says that clubs like Cypress Point, Augusta, and San Francisco will expect the skirt below the knee with no exceptions.
The PGA dress for women section also states that women would be expected to wear trousers at some more exclusive clubs. If this is the club you are playing at, you can forget the tennis skirt right now.
If you are unsure about the rules of your golf club, just give them a call and ask. Some golf clubs can be rigorous in enforcing their dress code, and it is better to be safe than sorry.
Can You Wear A Golf Skirt For Tennis?
The dress codes in tennis clubs are usually not as strict as that of golf clubs. The ITF also makes no mention of golf skirts in their regulations.
Therefore, you are not likely to come across any restrictions that will stop you from wearing a golf skirt on the tennis court.
Just because there are no restrictions doesn’t mean it is a good idea. For example, I mentioned earlier that golf skirts are tighter than tennis skirts. This being due to golf not requiring much agility.
As golf skirts are tighter, they will restrict your movement more than a classic tennis skirt/skort.
The other big issue is pockets or lack of pockets.
Golf skirts often come with a small pocket for keeping balls and tees in. Unfortunately, tennis skorts don’t always have pockets. However, they do usually come with space underneath the skort to hold balls.
The part of the skort that holds the ball is usually made of spandex.
The issue with the golfing skirt is even if it does have pockets, it will likely not be large enough to hold a tennis ball.
At the same time, it will not come with a place to tuck the ball in. The only option you will be left with is a tennis ball clip (Amazon).
Many women do use the ball clip option.
The overwhelming majority would just opt to use a specially designed tennis skirt, though. It is more convenient than needing to carry another accessory around whenever you play.
You are always best going with the product that is designed for the sport.
If you buy something marketed as a tennis skirt, you know that it has been manufactured with suitability for tennis in mind.
If you use a golf skirt, you are just gambling that some transferable qualities will allow it to function on the tennis court.
You could compare it to going to a veterinarian to get medical advice for yourself. Both understand medicine, but only one is specialized towards humans.
Golf and tennis skirts look alike, but they are not the same. They are designed for two totally different sports. Two sports require other skills and have different needs when it comes to clothing.
If the choice is between going in your underwear or wearing a golf skirt on the tennis court, go with the golf skirt, of course.
But this should just be a temporary solution.
What’s your experience of wearing clothing not explicitly designed for the sport? Perhaps you have played rugby with football boots? Maybe gone swimming in running shorts?